MONDAY PDB – Do Biden’s Vaccine Mandates Harm National Security? Space Force and Space Threats, UN Predicts Colossal Afghan Banking Collapse, NATO Says China Too Far Away to be ‘Adversary,’ Will Russia Invade Ukraine in January?

Photo By California National Guard via (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/) Flickr

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Today’s PDB includes a variety of critical national security issues.

READ TODAY’S PDB BELOW:

Pentagon Watch

The Pentagon must deal with the Oklahoma National Guard vaccine revolt. On Nov. 17, a defense official told reporters that the COVID-19 vaccine requirement is one of the conditions that National Guard troops must meet in order to maintain their federal recognition, but he indicated the Defense Department is not enthusiastic about exacting a penalty on Guardsmen who refuse to get vaccinated.

Retired National Guard General blasts Oklahoma’s vaccine stance as ‘direct attack’ on military readiness. The governor’s misguided political ploy weakens national security at a time when we can least afford it.

Vaccine mandate is last straw for US shipyards already facing labor shortages. While America’s shipyards need to increase production, the last straw for an industry already confronting labor shortages is the federal vaccine mandate implemented by the Biden administration. Despite the deadline being delayed and softened, shipbuilders (and other supply chain firms across the aerospace- and defense-industrial base) are still feeling the effects.

Huntington Ingalls CEO: We’re not enforcing vaccine mandate. Huntington Ingalls Industries says it is not forcing out employees who refuse the coronavirus vaccine, putting a major Pentagon contractor at the forefront of a battle over the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates. DoD is still evaluating a contract ceiling for the JWCC, but projects it to be in the multibillion-dollar range.

National Security

A Space Force general said US hypersonic missile capabilities are ‘not as advanced’ China and Russia’s. The US has to catch up on Russia and China’s hypersonic missile technology, a Space Force general said.

Whose job is it to prevent Armageddon? Calls grow for a global planetary defense strategy as thousands of near-Earth asteroids are discovered each year.

America should re-envision the Eastern Med as a multi-theater power-projection platform. As a new report from the Jewish Institute for National Security of America explains, the Eastern Mediterranean increasingly offers unique strategic opportunities to bolster U.S. forward presence; move forces quickly and efficiently into neighboring regions; and reassure partners without breaking the bank, creating new power vacuums or pulling focus from great power competition.

Biden’s Afghan Disaster

EXCLUSIVE UN warns of ‘colossal’ collapse of Afghan banking system. The United Nations on Monday pushed for urgent action to prop up Afghanistan’s banks, warning that a spike in people unable to repay loans, lower deposits and a cash liquidity crunch could cause the financial system to collapse within months.

The Taliban is no ‘partner,’ says top US Special Ops commander. After withdrawing, the US must rely on other Afghans and foreign governments for intelligence to track and target ISIS-K.

China Threat

China is too far away from NATO to be called an adversary, says top alliance general. NATO will not label China as an adversary in its next strategy document in part because it is too far away from the alliance’s sphere of interest, but members must still try to match its technological progress, according to the chair of NATO’s Military Committee.

Taiwan commissions first upgraded F-16 fighter wing. Taiwan officially commissioned its upgraded Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon multi-role fighter jets into service, with a ceremony at an airbase on its west coast on Wednesday.

Russia Threat

Russia preparing to attack Ukraine by late January: Ukraine defense intelligence agency chief. Russia is building toward the ability to carry out an attack on Ukraine, the head of its defense intelligence agency stated.

Britain bolsters ties with Poland, Ukraine amid jitters in Eastern Europe. The British government announced new defense collaborations with Poland and the Ukraine on the back of a visit to the two Eastern European nations by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace this week.

Iran Threat

US defense chief vows to counter Iran in visit to Bahrain. America’s top defense official vowed Saturday to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and to counter its “dangerous use” of suicide drones in the wider Mideast.

Space Threat

The real Space Force — a great second season. Commentary: The Space Force was established to ensure a laser sharp focus on protecting satellites essential to our modern way of life and national security as we make our capabilities more distributed and resilient.

END of PDB

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